Sunday, November 14, 2010

Pilgrimage: Day One in Jerusalem

Greetings from Jerusalem. It has been a wonderful pilgrimage so far. I've met some wonderful people, and am eager to see what the Holy One is to reveal or is revealing.

Smooth flights from Raleigh-Durham to Atlanta, and then Atlanta to Tel Aviv. I was picked up from the airport by a van--Nesher--and taken to St. George's Guest House, Cathedral, and College. Here, I met six of the other pilgrims, plus Jaqlynne, from the Netherlands (doing a documentary on German Jews who were refugees in the Netherlands during WWII). We all walked to Pasha's for dinner, with a table spread of food and wine. Delicious!

This morning (Sunday) there was a leisurely breakfast of meats, cheeses, tomatoes, cucumbers, pitas, eggs, hummus, grapes, olives, and other savory and delectible treats. Strong coffee helped me stay awak for the Arabic-English worded worship in the Cathedral this morning.

Soon we were off to see some sights: we walked the noisy and fascinating throngs of Palestinians in E. Jerusalem, walking through Damascus Gates toward Joffa St. We grabbed lunch at a small whole in the wall (more hummus), and then one of the other pilgrims (Debbie) and I made a bee-line for the Israel Museum. We toured the Shrine of the Book, housing the Dead Sea Scrolls, and looked at the model of Jerusalem during the Second Temple period. Then we ducked into the Modern Museum, which has recently been re-opened, and were fascinated by the modern and contemporary art, along with work by contemporary Jewish artists.

Dinner was back in E. Jerusalem, at a favorite restaurant, Al Azahras. Delicious. All the pilgrims were there. I'm one of the two youngest on the trek among the eleven of us.

Tomorrow is a bright and shine morning: meeting at 6 and on the bus to Eilat by 7. We cross the border into Taba, Egypt, and soon whisked into the desert-land of the Sinai Peninsula.

Buen Camino!


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